23andMe makes music from your DNA

first_imgMost people don’t go around all day and wonder what secrets might be hidden in their genes. Personal genomics startup 23andMe is in the business of getting people curious enough to look into it, though. Its latest persuasion technique comes in the form of a song — the song of you, in a way. The company says it can now create a piece of music from your genetic code.This isn’t an entirely new idea — DNA has been used as the inspiration for music in the past. The difference with 23andMe’s system is that it’s almost entirely automated. The pitch, key, and rhythm of the tune are all algorithmically derived from your personal genetic code.The factors that go into the music are more in the broad generalization category. The key, for example, is determined by the maternal haplotype, a collection of genes found in the mitochondria that can be used to trace ancestry. Genes that affect height, skin tone, and eye color are also used to work out the melody. The resulting tune won’t be a representation of your full genetic code, just the parts of it 23andMe has decided to focus on.The process is designed to make listenable music, not a collection of random noises like you might expect from the assigning of base pairs to arbitrary notes. 23andMe says that even with its normalization techniques, there are hundreds of thousands of possible melodies. The finished product is short, just a few seconds long. It’s a gimmick, yes, but I still kind of wonder what my DNA sounds like after being passed through the 23andMe music box.The 23andMe DNA test kit requires you provide a saliva sample, and it takes about 2-3 weeks to get your results. The kit does run you $299, though.via VentureBeatlast_img read more

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